Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Autumn Concert 2013

The Glory of Venice 

To round off their 40th anniversary year, the Royal Free Singers gave a concert of 15th and 16th century music from Italy, featuring works by the Venetian masters Giovanni Gabrieli (O Magnum Mysterium and In Ecclesiis), Claudio Monteverdi (Beatus Vir), Tomaso Albinoni (Magnificat) and Antonio Vivaldi (Gloria), works which would undoubtedly have been performed in San Marco, making full use of its sonorous acoustic, and from Rome the celebrated Miserere by Gregorio Allegri.  

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

40 Years - Our Greatest Hits concert!

The Royal Free Singers  40th Anniversary!  It all began in 1973 when Ben Gunner suggested to a small group of parents, at what was then the Royal Free School in Windsor, that they should form a choir.  It has grown over the years, with Ben still leading the choir, into the group you will see today, well known as a first class local choir performing a wide range of works to delight audiences. At this concert, the singers performed a selection of their 'Greatest Hits', from the very first thing they sang in 1973, 'All through the Night', followed by musical treats from Mozart, Bach, Fauré and many more.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Mendelssohn - St Paul

Royal Free Singers 

Anniversary Concert 2013 


Felix Mendelssohn, born in 1809, was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period. Recognised for his talent at an early age, he was instrumental in reviving interest in the music of JS Bach. Composition of his work 'Saint Paul' began in 1834, and it was premiered in 1836. His admiration for the work of Bach is evident in this work.  

The text is based very largely on the Acts of the Apostles, with the three main themes being the martyrdom of St. Stephen, the conversion of St. Paul and the apostle’s subsequent missionary life. Mendelssohn, like St. Paul, was a convert from Judaism to Christianity so the text undoubtedly had a strong personal meaning for him.  Today St. Paul is performed less often than Elijah, but it ranks among the principal oratorios of the 19th century. 
Now rarely performed, the Royal Free Singers provided a marvellous opportunity to come and hear this great oratorio, in the beautiful, historic surroundings of Eton College School Hall, conducted by Ben Gunner and accompanied by the Orchestra of London.

'A wonderful evening - why do we not hear this great work more often?'

The Royal Free Singers gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the Prince Philip Trust Fund and the Royal Albert Institute in staging this concert.